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Ticket 487: The draft is not true to the spirit of Scheme

2013-07-07 03:20:44
WG1 - Core
2013-05-12 22:45:55

Jim Wise writes:

The proposed standard fails to stay true to the spirit of what makes Scheme what it is. In essence, the standard fails to justify its own existence.

As a Scheme, the proposed language differs relatively little from R5RS, and where it does differ, the differences do not "feel" true to the history and spirit of Scheme to me in a way that even the more sweeping changes of R6RS did. I suspect both of these shortcomings stem from a desire to define R7RS scheme in opposition to R6RS, instead of as a natural evolution of the language's history.

What "the spirit of Scheme" is is a matter of opinion. One could say with equal justice, and many do both on and off the WG, that it was R6RS that discarded the history and broke with the spirit of Scheme. I myself prefer not to enter into these emotional matters.

On the WG there was, of course, no desire to define R7RS-small in opposition to R6RS, though there was a desire to define it independently, a very different thing. In no case did we differ from R6RS merely to differ from it, and when in earlier drafts we inadvertently did so (as by speaking of character ports rather than textual ports, or using randomly different names for the same procedures), we changed those things as they were pointed out to us. If there was an independent rationale for the difference, as in the use of SRFI 4 lexical syntax for bytevectors rather than the novel R6RS syntax, we did not hesitate to differ from R6RS.


The WG decided by unanimous consent to take no action on this ticket.